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This ain't about love just pay me.

There was one thing in particular about the Coldfusion job ad below that I found quite unacceptable.  That was the part about doing all the work up front and then Siobahn decides whether or not she thinks its worth paying for.  (I didn't read the ad that carefully; that's what I thought it said.  If I misread, just play along.)

I'm quite unwilling to put in say sixty hours of work and have that all swirl down the drain when some unfortunate disagreement pops up in the 11th hour.  Also, being in that that position (all the money on the back end) doesn't give you much leverage with the client (especially at the 11th hour).

To me, half up front is a reasonable demand for a project of any size.  But I think I lost a contract recently because I insisted on that, and my wife was quite surprised that I was going to make that a precondition for this (easy) job.  Below we have another person who expects the programmer to take all the risk up front.  Am I weird in finding this unacceptable?

Matt Conrad
Saturday, August 14, 2004

No, you are right on this.

It's an issue of risk vs reward. If the IC is assuming ALL the risk, the IC should receive ALL the reward. There is no reason to give Susan a cut at all.

Dennis Atkins
Saturday, August 14, 2004

If there if anyone out there who thinks getting paid only after the work is done and delivered then I have a job for you.

I claim to be hiring one programmer to do XYZ, what I don't tell you is that *everyone* who applies will be accepted.  Everyone will be given the same spec and as work progresses I will monitor each accepted applicant.  I will slowly use various excuses to drop people.  Eventually nearing the end of the project I will cut it down to one and accept that person's work, paying them their entitled rate.

Andrew
Saturday, August 14, 2004

riskk needs reward.  if ii am gonna love ya, i gotta get paid . if am gonna wait on the corner and hope for the bus to come so i can love ya, i gotta get paid double.


?

Zane
Saturday, August 14, 2004

No-one works on spec because it's obviously wide open to abuse. Imagine going into a restaurant and paying only if you felt like it.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

Well actually, that's precisely what you can do in a restaurant.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Not in a restaurant you ever want to go back to.

www.MarkTAW.com
Saturday, August 14, 2004

The restaurant could call the police.

Steven
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Well, no.  If you receive a meal that you don't think worth the money being billed then you can offer what you think its worth.  If you think its worth nothing then leave nothing.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Simon, I recall a case where a guy was charged and prosecuted for not paying at restaurants. He tried to maintain the food was no good, but word got around and he was picked up by the police. That is, it was a criminal offence, not a civil one.

So you're wrong.


Saturday, August 14, 2004

No, I'm not wrong.

Eating in a restaurant is a contractual arrangement, they agree to provide food, you agree to pay for it.  If they fail to provide edible food then you fail to pay for it.  There's nothing criminal about it, its a civil matter.

If you provide food for consumption and it isn't acceptable it is not the same as walking out of a store with some merchandise with the intent of permanently depriving the owner of it.

I can't comment on an individual case in a jurisdiction I don't live in but I can give just one example that happened to me.

We were in a restaurant and ordered the food, along with drinks and a bottle of wine.  The food was truly inedible, the pasta was so over cooked as to be gluey and stuck together, the duck had been deep fat fried and was black on one side. 

We complained to the management who took the plates away with barely an acknowledgement.  I put money on the table for the wine and drinks and we left.

Naturally, we have not been back but then its changed hands several times since anyhow.

That's probably the most extreme example I've experienced.  On other occasions when its arisen complaints have been made and the management has come up with some kind of offer, money off, a free dessert or liqueurs.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, August 14, 2004

If, on the other hand, you could prove that someone had the intent of not paying before they entered the restaurant then you could make a case of fraud.

But it could not be theft.

Simon Lucy
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I think Simon is right, so far as taking a bite or two of food and pronouncing it inedible.  I think the arrests come in when you consume the whole thing and then announce that it was inedible.

Kyralessa
Saturday, August 14, 2004

The ColdFusion ad (I am a Delphi/Win32 developer and I don't give a rat's patootie about ColdFusion itself)  reeks of a middleman/bodyshop arrangement where the middle person wants to extract margin/upcharge/commission from contracted work that they have bid competitively for.

IOW: It would appear that Siobhan is struggling to present an image to her prospects of a seamless,  vertically integrated web site factory with infinite resources at their disposal. When in reality she must contract with individual freelancers in order to delivery parts of their projects. And she likely can't offer a whole lot  of money to attract the best people, and she likely doesn't have a well developed network to FIND the best people. Both of which also say a lot.

It's exactly the same bullshit that abusive IT "consulting" firms that are really just temp agencies and payrolling services shovel out. In that context, the attitude of the temp firms toward the people that deliver the actual work is dripping condescension.

And an ad like this is just another of the many reasons why almost all middleman contract arrangements in our business are generally bogus, abusive and zero-sum crap.

Bored Bystander
Saturday, August 14, 2004

With my main client (A University) I usually bill the entire amount after the job is done. But I know those guys very well, and understand their needs very well.

If, they for some reason would refuse to pay... They wouldnt, because they cant risk not having me available to maintain their critical apps.

Eric Debois
Saturday, August 14, 2004

"It's exactly the same bullshit that abusive IT "consulting" firms that are really just temp agencies and payrolling services shovel out. In that context, the attitude of the temp firms toward the people that deliver the actual work is dripping condescension."

Not all of these firms are like that, though.  I got my current job through a placement firm, and it's the kind of work I want to do and it pays at the top of the expected salary range I quoted them.  Ironically, I almost didn't go to meet with them because I'd had such bad experiences with eight or ten other such firms.

Before getting this job I'd have agreed that all placement firms are crap; now I think only 90% or so are.

Kyralessa
Saturday, August 14, 2004


Bored is right on this one. They sound like another meat-grinder client who views software developers and prostitutes in the same light.

Let the Indians and Chinese fight over this one.  This fat, dumb, lazy American (of Russian descent) wouldn't work for a client like this.

Stalin
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I recently did a couple of months work for a client just like this.  I would have walked away quickly, but the work is pretty scarce in these parts and it's been years since I've had paying work closer than a hour's drive. These guys were generally not competent to run a top shelf web shop, and lately I've actually been making decent pocket money by writing about what they do wrong.

Clay Dowling
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I use to be a restaurant manager. Here the way its done: customer eats all meal & complains = customer pays.
customer eats 2 bits & complains = we offer to remake or not charge - customer choice.

JohnH20
Saturday, August 14, 2004

JohnH20 -

wait.. where's the part where you cum in their food?  Oh right, if they ask for a replacement, right?

muppet
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Muppet--Spoken like true white trash. Or whatever color you are.

Anon-y-mous Cow-ard
Saturday, August 14, 2004

Oh right, like you never worry about that.

And I'm green, I'm a muppet, remember?

muppet
Saturday, August 14, 2004

I cum in my own food.

Muppet
Saturday, August 14, 2004

And then I eat it.

muppet
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Not ALL muppets are green.  Ms. Piggy is pink.  Burt is .. flesh.  Etcetera, etcetera. 

muppet
Sunday, August 15, 2004

I am muppet.  I masturbate a lot.

muppet
Sunday, August 15, 2004

I am muppet.  What is woman?

muppet
Sunday, August 15, 2004

I have found a way to get my short dick into my own ass.

muppet
Sunday, August 15, 2004

I'm an asshole.  I write bad things about my clients.

Clay Dowling
Sunday, August 15, 2004

I am such a prick and my name is matt.  All I do is bitch night and day. 

Gremlins are here. 

Matt Conrad
Sunday, August 15, 2004

My name is Luca.

I live on the second floor.

I live upstairs from you.

I know you've seen me before.

Luca
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Wow, that was excellent.

Check out the team: http://www.evolvedsites.com/meettheteam.html#

The ColdFusion developer position looks like the kiss of death.  "Jump in and solve the problem" indeed. 

Once upon a time I had the idea that other people should be honorable and decent and tell the truth ALL the time, and do the work the way I would do the work, and predict perfectly what they wanted, and produce perfectly what they were told.  Then I went to work and found out all the myriad ways different people could come to agreements, without realizing they were agreeing on different things.

When the differences came to light, the 'evolved' approach was to admit that more communication was needed, try to accomplish that communication, and update the agreements.  The 'unevolved' approach was to blame the contractor.  Of course, I was not trying to manage a web-development company of 7 people at the time.  I might have gotten more 'unevolved' myself had that been the case.

It's very nice that Siobhan (Susan) went to all that trouble to detail out all the problems she's had over the last 6 1/2 years getting quality people to contract with.  As an addition to Glass's "Software Failures" it's wonderful.  As a job position offer, it's not so good.

It says "Hi, come to work for me, I have this ENORMOUS chip on my shoulder, try REALLY hard not to bump me, because I've dealt with failed contractors before, and YOU have to PROVE yourself to me before I even PAY you."

Not really a message that will appeal to the quality people you want to appeal to.  I am very sympathetic with Susan's desire not to go through all those problems again.  I just don't think putting out such a job offer will accomplish that.

On the other hand, it really is a CLASSIC litany of all that can go wrong.  Highly recommended.  It's too bad that she deleted ALL of her messages -- but one of the poster's copied her original for posterity.  Scroll down to see it.

AllanL5
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Allan I'm working for them on an initial project right now and I talked to her. She doesnt seem to have a chip on her shoulder at all. There is a cf dev. there full time who I talked to. They need help for overflow work. They pay well. I delivered some work today. They tested it and said its fine. I have no complaints so far. They are straight up people. There are lots of bad freelancers out there. Ive heard this from my other clients.

Neo
Sunday, August 15, 2004

oh yah and communication is very good. Specs were clear. Their available by phone any time. I couldnt blame them a bit for what happened in the past.

Neo
Sunday, August 15, 2004

Thanks, neo, that's good to hear.  I'm very glad that the company is MUCH better to work for than the job spec implies.

The point remains that it was a very interesting job spec, which implied lots of bad things you don't want a job spec to imply.  Good to know the implications were not true.

AllanL5
Monday, August 16, 2004

Uh.  Right.

muppet
Monday, August 16, 2004

Time will tell. Neo still has to perform, and the web shop still has to pay.

Bored Bystander
Monday, August 16, 2004

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